The online backlash to China’s censorship of “Fight Club” successfully restored (most) of the original ending for the film. After reports came out that streaming service Tencent Video had edited the famed ending featuring the Narrator (Edward Norton) killing his split personality Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and blowing up a city skyline with love interest Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), Tencent Video has since released the original ending online.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Tencent has restored 11 out of the 12 minutes it originally cut from the film’s climax. The missing minute includes a nude sex scene between Pitt and Bonham Carter’s characters; however, the iconic explosion sequence remains in full.
Tencent originally cut the finale, with the film fading to black and a caption added stating that in the end, the police thwarted Tyler’s destructive plan.
“Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” the title card read. “After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Fans called out the recut for undermining the whole point of the 1999 classic film.
“This is too outrageous,” a viewer commented on streaming site Tencent Video (via The Guardian). Another added on Chinese social media site Weibo, ”‘Fight Club’ on Tencent Video tells us that they don’t just delete scenes, but add to the plot too.”
“The irony is that the way the Chinese have changed it is they’ve aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to Fincher’s ending, which was the more spectacular visual ending,” Palahniuk said. “So in a way, the Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit.”
In the novel, Tyler’s bombs actually malfunctioned, and he ended up shooting himself before waking up in a mental hospital.
The Cyberspace Administration of China announced January 25 that the government sect was launching a month-long “clean” web campaign to create a “civilized and healthy” internet over the Lunar New Year holiday. By February 7, the original “Fight Club” ending was mostly restored.